• U.S. intelligence briefed House on Russia to ensure Trump’s re-election.
• Classified briefing to lawmakers made Trump angry
• Trump said Democrats would “weaponize” news of Russian military campaign
• Trump was mad DNI Joseph Maguire would let staff appear
• That’s why Maguire’s out, Richard Grenell’s in as ‘acting’ DNI.
In Washington last week, U.S. intelligence officials told lawmakers that Russia is carrying out a military-grade attack on the 2020 elections, with the goal of making Americans doubt the integrity of the vote and ensure re-election for impeached, manifestly unfit and corrupt President Donald Trump, Reuters reported Thursday.
Earlier today, The New York Times reported that one day after this briefing on Russian interference in the 2020 US elections, Trump punished acting Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Joseph Maguire for allowing his staff to appear before the committee.
The NYT quotes five people familiar with the matter:
The day after the Feb. 13 briefing to lawmakers, Mr. Trump berated Joseph Maguire, the outgoing acting director of national intelligence, for allowing it to take place, people familiar with the exchange said. Mr. Trump cited the presence in the briefing of Representative Adam B. Schiff, the California Democrat who led the impeachment proceedings against him, as a particular irritant.
On Wednesday, as NYT notes, Trump announced Maguire was out and that Richard Grenell, a Trump toady who has served as ambassador to Germany since 2018, will be ‘acting’ DNI.
Intelligence officials and analysts say Grenell is not qualified, and this is manifestly corrupt and bizarre.
Excerpt from Jonathan Landay’s story Thursday evening at Reuters:
The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the matter’s sensitivity, said Trump’s Republican allies on the Democratic-led House Intelligence Committee questioned the assessment presented by officials of the Office of National Intelligence last Thursday.
“The Republicans responded as you would expect. They went nuts,” said the person. “They questioned the intelligence.”
The briefers warned the committee in the classified briefing that Russia was working to cast doubt on the integrity of the Nov. 3 vote while at the same time boosting Trump’s election to a second four-year term.
“They (the Russians) are favoring one candidate while they do it,” said the person, adding that the briefers identified that candidate as Trump. The source declined to elaborate.
“There was no immediate response to a request for comment from committee Republicans,” Reuters adds.
And the NYT:
“Spokeswomen for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and its election security office declined to comment. A White House spokesman did not immediately respond to requests for comment.”
• U.S. intelligence told lawmakers of Russian bid to boost Trump re-election: source [reuters]
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